Wednesday, 27 Oct 2021

‘Brill and bubbly’ student, 21, took own life after feeling ‘locked up by Covid’

The heartbroken parents of a student who tragically took her own life have paid tribute to their daughter's "kind, genuine, bright and bubbly" personality.

Sinead Bowels had just completed the second year of her degree at Staffordshire University and had dreams of eventually going to Cambridge to do a master's.

The young woman, from Hanley, reportedly had an interest in helping to turn round the lives of former prisoners after studying criminal justice and offender management, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.

Tragically, the 21-year-old never got to realise her ambitions as she was found dead at her family home in Eastfield Drive, Hanley, on July 14.

Her best friend Keisha Nichols, who lived next door to Sinead, raised the alarm after realising she hadn't let her dog out, an inquest yesterday heard.

Keisha had reportedly also received a worrying text earlier that day, stating: "I genuinely wish I could go to sleep and not wake up."

Sinead had hung herself and left behind several "goodbye" notes on her bed.

The paramedics sadly arrived too late to save the 21-year-old.

The young woman's parents, Andy and Anita Bowles, said she had shown no signs of feeling depressed.

Sinead had been furloughed from her job as a team leader at Alton Towers due to the pandemic and was reportedly 'putting her head down' to get on with her studies.

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But days before her death, she had gone out with friends and contracted coronavirus.

Forty-eight-year-old Andy, who lives in Biddulph, said: “I think her feelings came on quickly. She just felt she’d got Covid and was locked up.

“Like a lot of parents who are in this position, the common denominator is you never expect your child to take that course of action.”

Sinead and best friend Keisha had reportedly set up a podcast during the pandemic, which focused on talking about positive ways to improve mental health.

Mum Anita, who lived with Sinead at the three-storey house in Hanley, said: “She also had a passion for Men Unite and helping others.”

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The heartbroken family have now raised more than £1,700 for the charity Young Minds in their daughter's memory.

Anita and ex-husband Andy said Sinead had been a ‘shining light in our lives and was loved dearly by her family and many friends’.

Concluding the death was the result of suicide, North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley said Covid may have been a factor in what happened, although it was unclear.

To donate to the family’s Just Giving fundraising page, click here.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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